The future of ag is recognized at Commodity Classic

BASF provides scholarships to exceptional students to pursue ag careers

To help keep pace with the growing interest in agriculture and natural resources, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has projected that “between 2015 and 2020, there will be an annual average of 57,900 jobs available for college graduates in this field.”


To help ensure this healthy pipeline of talent continues to exist, BASF partners with organizations like the American Soybean Association (ASA), the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA), the National Sorghum Foundation (NSF) and the National Wheat Foundation (NWF) to provide scholarships to exceptional students who are pursuing an agriculture-related career.


BASF, along with these commodities associations, provided a total of $20,000 in academic scholarships to 11 students at the 2019 Commodity Classic in Orlando, Florida, on February 28.


American Soybean Association Soy Scholarship
The ASA Soy Scholarship is presented to an exceptional high school senior who thrives in both academics and leadership roles, and is planning to pursue a degree in agriculture. This year, ASA recognized Jessica Warren, a high school senior from Warren, Minnesota. Jessica plans to attend the University of Minnesota Crookston in the fall of 2019, pursuing a degree in agriculture systems management.


National Corn Growers Association Scholarships
BASF and the NCGA awarded the William C. Berg Academic Excellence in Agriculture Scholarship to five aspiring agriculture students. These college students are pursuing either an undergraduate or graduate degree in an agriculture-related field.


Kayla Beechinor from Walla Walla, Washington, is a junior at Washington State University. She is pursuing a degree in biotechnology and field crop management, and plans to get her master’s degree in plant breeding after completion of her undergraduate degree.


Catherine Jones from Bellevue, Nebraska, is a senior at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln where she studies agriculture and environmental sciences communications. Catherine plans to pursue graduate school with continued education in agriculture communications.


Amber Oerly is a sophomore at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College studying agriculture business. After graduating NEO with her associate degree, she plans to transfer to either Oklahoma State University or Kansas State University to study agricultural economics with an emphasis in policy.
Osler Ortez, originally of Nicaragua, is pursuing his doctoral degree in agronomy and crop protection at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln. He received his bachelor’s degree in agriculture from Zamorano University in Honduras and completed his master’s degree in agronomy at Kansas State University.


Krista Russell is a graduate of Southern Illinois University Carbondale, where she received a bachelor’s degree in agricultural systems and education. Krista is now continuing her education at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, where she is pursuing a master’s degree in environmental science with a specialization in environmental policy and public administration.


National Sorghum Foundation – BASF Scholarship
BASF and NSF presented $2,500 scholarships to Isabelle Stewart of Colombus, Nebraska, and Payton Harrell of Spearman, Texas.


Isabelle Stewart is a sophomore at the University of Nebraska majoring in agriculture education, with minors in agronomy and horticulture. She plans to work in the agriculture industry after graduation, either in education or communication.


Payton Harrell is a senior at Texas Tech University, majoring in agriculture communications. After graduation this spring, Payton plans to attend graduate school at Baylor to study general communications.


“Both Payton and Isabelle had outstanding academic performance, impressive leadership activities, articulate, thoughtful answers to the questions posed on the applications, and very strong supporting letters,” said Larry Lambright, chairman of NSF.


National Wheat Foundation Scholarships
The NWF Jerry Minore Memorial Scholarship was named after Jerry Minore, a deceased BASF Senior Marketing Manager, to honor his advocacy efforts for wheat growers. This year, $1,500 scholarships were awarded to two talented students who exhibit a passion for agriculture:


Kayla Beechinor of Washington State University will graduate in May 2020 with a bachelor’s degree in integrated plant sciences and double major in agricultural biotechnology and field crop management.


Samantha Fischer, of Silver Lake, Kansas, is a sophomore at Kansas State University. She is majoring in food science and global food systems leadership. After her graduation in 2020, Samantha hopes to work in food research and development.


In addition, two $1,000 scholarships were awarded to Adrienne Blakey of Stillwater, Oklahoma, and Storm Soat of Jackson, Michigan.


Adrienne Blakey is a junior at Oklahoma State University dual majoring in plant soil sciences and agricultural communications.


Storm Soat is a senior at Michigan State University, majoring in crop and soil science.


BASF, ASA, NCGA, NSF and NWF are committed to supporting the next generation of ag professionals, and are excited to see how these talented scholarship winners support the future of ag.


About BASF’s Agricultural Solutions division
With a rapidly growing population, the world is increasingly dependent on our ability to develop and maintain sustainable agriculture and healthy environments. Working with farmers, agricultural professionals, pest management experts and others, it is our role to help make this possible. That’s why we invest in a strong R&D pipeline and broad portfolio, including seeds and traits, chemical and biological crop protection, soil management, plant health, pest control and digital farming. With expert teams in the lab, field, office and in production, we connect innovative thinking and down-to-earth action to create real world ideas that work – for farmers, society and the planet. In 2017, our division generated sales of €5.7 billion. For more information, please visit or any of our social media channels.


About BASF
At BASF, we create chemistry for a sustainable future. We combine economic success with environmental protection and social responsibility. The approximately 122,000 employees in the BASF Group work on contributing to the success of our customers in nearly all sectors and almost every country in the world. Our portfolio is organized into six segments: Chemicals, Materials, Industrial Solutions, Surface Technologies, Nutrition & Care and Agricultural Solutions. BASF generated sales of around €63 billion in 2018. BASF shares are traded on the stock exchanges in Frankfurt (BAS), London (BFA) and Zurich (BAS). Further information at